The Beginning…

In the beginning, Holy Smoke was a need to learn how to make Bbq. Growing up nearly equidistant from St. Louis and Nashville it was impossible not to develop a deep love and high standard for Bbq. Most weekends, I spent at a friend’s home with great company and great ‘que. However, after seminary I moved to New Jersey and finding great Bbq became an impossible quest. There was only one thing to do, learn how to provide for myself.


The journey to good Bbq begins like any other skill or hobby. You have to master the basics. Every great musician needs to spend hours learning chords, scales, and working exercises. Pit masters hone their skills spending hours working pits and learning about meat. Each pit, type of fuel, and slab of meat is different, but the skills necessary to make great Bbq are the same for all of them. Time spent learning and developing these skills can turn a pit novice into a pit master.


The first step was to discover as much about Bbq as possible. I purchased book after book and read them religiously. Taking notes and highlighting passages led to the foundation needed to begin cooking. My wife purchased a Weber Smokey Mountain as a gift for me and I plunged headlong down the rabbit hole. Once in and cooking I couldn’t look back.


Bbq is a passion, an art, and a science. For me, there is no substitute for good food and good company. Bbq has changed my life and with it, I have changed others. If you remember above I said that I graduated seminary. My 9-5 (though not really 9-5) is serving as a Youth and Family Pastor. Get it, Holy Smoke! People have a desire for community. The best place to find it is around a table. The stories, reflections, and epiphanies people have around a table with good food and good people are unparalleled. That is the mission of Holy Smoke. My advice to you is this, gather some friends and fire up your pit. With a little time, a lot of love, and a kiss of smoke you can turn a mundane afternoon into something extraordinary.

– Matthew Prendergast


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